The Bootleg Files: The Spirit of Charles Lindbergh

BOOTLEG FILES 615: “The Spirit of Charles Lindbergh” (1984 short directed by and starring Orson Welles).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The rarest and least known of Welles’ output.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: The full short deserves to be a special feature on a future DVD release.

Everybody is aware that Orson Welles began his filmmaking career with the biggest bang imaginable – you know, that film about the megalomaniac newspaper publisher obsessed over his childhood sled. However, few people are aware that Welles ended his filmmaking career with a whisper: a three-minute short intended as a private video for an ailing friend.

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The Lake (2015)

Michael Buie’s “The Lake” is a masterpiece of a short film. It’s a beautiful, somber, and heartbreaking look at how the inevitability of our death doesn’t mean we have to stop living life. I sat through the entirety of “The Lake” with a teary eye, mainly because director and writer Michael Buie manages to convey the terror and confusion of being told you’re about to die with pure brilliance. “The Lake” is never exploitative or over saccharine, it’s just about learning to make the most of the time we have in our life.

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Treaters (2017)

From Treehouse Digital and director Peter Stanley-Ward, “Treaters” is a short film that I would love to become the basis for a horror anthology somewhere down the road. “Treaters” is a surefire Halloween treat that works with a sense of whimsy but also has an admirably demented sense of humor that I was sucked in to from minute one. One thing that’s always menacing about Halloween are trick or treaters, because you just never really know who, or what, are wearing those dreaded masks and whatnot.

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Nite Nite (2017)

Chad Meisenheimer’s “Nite Nite” is an ambitious little horror tale that its heart in the right place. I like director Meisenheimer’s enthusiasm for horror, even if “Nite Nite” needs a bit more spit and polish here and there. There is only so much you can do in three minutes, and “Nite Nite” works toward a basic horror tale of babysitting gone awry we often see with independent features.

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Two Birds (2017)

I like where Brendan Beachman seems intent on taking us in the realm of horror, as “Two Birds” is an indication of a rich cinematic talent who has potential to spin some very creepy horror tales down the road. Director Brendan Beachman creates a spooky and unnerving short film filled ambiguity and an enigmatic villain, and though we never quite understand what’s happening, that doesn’t make the tale less scary.

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The Call of Charlie (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

Charlie is a friend, so Mark and his wife help him out by setting him up with Maureen. As the evening goes along, with uninvited guests Virginia and Jay joining the 4 of them, things take an odd turn.

Written by Guy Benoit, John Simpson, and director Nick Spooner, The Call of Charlie is a horror comedy that works, and works great. It’s funny and uses a creature to the best possible result in terms of comedy and awkwardness. The film has witty dialog and flows really well throughout. The writing is on point and the directing supports it perfectly. The way this is short is build shows a good grasp of comedic timing and how to build a strong story with odd aspects and keep it simple to make it work the best possible.

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Saint Frankenstein (2015) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

Halloween night, a motel room, someone has requested a very specific call girl for very specific reason. As the client and provider get to know each other, a story of survival, betrayal, love, and life is woven.

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